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Archive for December, 2013

I’m trying to remember Monday. It was a crazy day, a fun one, but crazy as in we were so busy. But before I start remembering by writing it down I want to go back a few Christmases, a few Decembers.

Three Christmases ago when we lived in Chili, WI I visited St. Vinnies food pantry and they also let me pick out gifts from a special room they keep stocked with kids things for needy folks on Christmas. They didn’t have the latest gadgets but to me who cares, it’s just fun to open presents and get something you didn’t have before. I picked out the best I could what each kid might enjoy. Pleasing kids with Autism and Aspergers is difficult as it is.  Besides being painfully honest they also tend to hate every thing at first then one day they forget they hate it and start using it, playing with it or if it’s food eating it as if they had always been doing that. My two kids that are not in the spectrum are much better at excepting gifts when given. Even if it’s not something they want they know how to be polite and say thank you. That year we also had a box of food delivered to our door. I’ll just add now that every time that happens it’s always good timing because it’s close to the end of the month when finances are tight.

st vincent de pauls( I found this picture online.)

Two Christmases ago we lived in Plover, WI. This time the kids school signed us up for their Christmas help and had us fill out some info on the kids like their gender and size and wish list.  A giant plastic bad of wrapped gifts was delivered to us. I just loved having so many gifts under the tree. This time though the girls were a bit tougher to please due to being teens and more opinionated. It’s hard to get upset with them and call them ungrateful when the gifts weren’t really age appropriate but I still give them the be thankful lecture.  I shouldn’t expect them to be like me. It’s just that after about the age of ten Christmas gifts got fewer and fewer.  As much as I loved opening presents I didn’t like being pitied. But if a gift was genuine I loved it no matter what it was.  One Christmas I knew there would be no gifts so I took my tickets from playing video games that I saved up and got my mom, dad and sister stuff from the prize window. It was pretty silly but we all enjoyed it anyway.

This year we got a card to fill out again with the gender, size and wish list. Even though we didn’t expect to get anything from their wish list we filled it out any way cause ya never know.  Later I was freaked out by a knock at the door. We don’t get those much, lol. It was the fire dept volunteers with a box of food. Again the food came at a good time and it had fresh oranges which was a big hit. Later a lady delivered the wrapped presents. She gave me a thank you card already addressed and stamped and suggested we send it. That was my clue that this was different like maybe this time we had a secret Santa type thing. The kids opened the presents early. Kyle was elated with most of his presents. He and Levi don’t wear blue jeans due to texture issues but Kyle loved his shirts and science book type things. Kara loved the things that fit her though most of it was too small. As usual my ASD kids were a bit harsh and I found myself giving the be grateful lecture again. True, the clothes either didn’t fit or were a texture issue or not their style, but I still am working on them being more gracious. The coolest thing was that almost everything came with a gift receipt. That was super awesome! Now we could return things and get the stuff in their correct size and style.

Monday Preston (the kids dad) came for the boys. The plan was instead of taking them Saturday and bringing them back home Sunday as usual I would keep them  for the weekend and he would take them Monday since he was also out of school and then come for the girls on Christmas afternoon to go to their aunts for a family Christmas. So Monday, after the boys left, the girls and I went shopping, more like returning and shopping. I thought it would be better to get the returning out of the way cause usually after Christmas the customer service desks are loaded with people returning gift items. It worked out well because we didn’t have any lines to wait in. All the people working at the different customer service desks were very polite and helpful as well as patient cause there were quite a few items that we weren’t exactly sure which store  to return them too. I even had one dumpy large blue mystery tee shirt that’s been moving around our home for a few weeks now that somehow got into the return box. Oops!

On the way to the first store I took a right off the free way into busy traffic and passed a lady and her three little tikes. They were walking on the busy road too close to the cars and about to cross the freeway exit. They couldn’t walk on the sidewalk because the snow plow had piled the snow up high on it and there was no where else to walk but the busy road its self. As I drove on I told the girls that even though I warn against picking up strangers I was tempted to go back and offer her a ride. They were concerned but the more I thought about it the more I just had to do it. It was crazy dangerous for that lady and children to be there like that. I told the girls I really didn’t think a mom with three little tikes (all under the age of 7) would pose a danger to us. I turned the car around and easily found her crossing a large slippery street that went uphill at a steep incline. I rolled down the window and asked her if she wanted a ride. She didn’t hesitate to say yes and they all four climbed in my mini van. She told me to go to the top of the hill, turn right and go another three miles. It took a really long time to get up that hill cause the car didn’t want to move, it was that slippery. I tried not to imagine us slipping backwards cause the the street at the bottom had a lot of really fast traffic. Though it was a slow go we did make it to the top and once I turned right the rest was smooth sailing. I couldn’t get over how far the lady and her three little ones would have had to walk. And, it was freekin cold out taboot.

It felt good to be able to help someone in need. It was also awesome to be able to get the kids what they want and need even though it was a bit complicated cause the gift receipts were from about five or six different stores. Still the girls had fun shopping with mom and without the boys.

I had bought the kids an Xbox for Christmas a week or so prior. I owed Preston a hundred dollars but he said not to pay him back but to use it for Christmas for the kids so with that and what I had left on the Target card and that Target had a sale on Xbox 360’s I was able to get it.  I let the girls put it together ahead of time so it would be ready when the boys came home. I tried not to be involved but it turned out I had to help anyway. The Xbox came with a month free Netflix. Of course Netflix is offering everyone a free month for sign up anyway but we went on and did it.

Come Christmas things worked out differently then our original plan. Preston called in the morning to let me know due to it snowing all night and most of the day the roads weren’t safe to travel on. So besides sleeping in the girls and I spent most of the day watching shows on the DVR (Fringe Season 3) and Netflix (Supernatural Season 8). I also made cookies.  I got to talk to the boys on the phone and they sounded good. They were supposed to come home the next day and then on Friday Preston’s family plans to have their family Christmas. Hannah wants to make the Fratelli she learned to make by watching CutiePieMarzia on YouTube to take with her. She’s made it before and it’s not bad.

Preston brought the boys home on Thursday (Today). The girls went home with him so now I got time with the boys till they all go to the grandparents tomorrow. Of course the boys are busy on the XBox but that’s fine, gives me time to finish this up.

DSCF1343 DSCF1344 DSCF1345

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We didn’t go to movies often but I sure loved it when we did. I remember this one time in New Port Beach, CA. when my family went to see a double feature, Octopussy and Krull. It must have been 1983. My mom wasn’t to happy about seeing Octopussy but my dad was a 007 fan. I think Octopussy was my first 007 film. Later the second one would be Never Say Never staring Sean Connery. After that I was hooked.

Octopussy played first and it upset my mom who decided to spend the rest of the movie time in the ladies lounge reading her purse size Bible and praying. They had a couch in there so it was actually quite comfortable.

Octopussy was fun, I loved all the crazy gadgets and excitement. Then Krull came on. After a while my dad and sister grew board and wanted to leave but I was totally into it. Then again, I loved going to movies so I was always into what ever was on the big screen. Eventually, as it so often happens, I had to use the restroom. While there I checked on how my mom was doing. She attempted a guilt trip on me but I wasn’t buying at the time. She did successfully make me feel uncomfortable being anywhere near her so I politely excused myself and returned to the movie. Now that I look back on it I understand those feelings better. Some people know how to suck the positive energy from you replacing it with negative uncomfortable feelings. My mother didn’t do it all the time but she certainly had that ability. Some folks chronically do it and I have heard them called spiritual vampires. I think they could also be called energy vampires. My mom was not in the habit of doing it all the time thankfully, but she did have the ability when she wanted to.

After leaving the restroom I returned to the large mostly empty room the movie was playing in. There were a few folks scattered here and there because the crowd had left after the 007 movie ended. I spotted the back of my dad and my sister who was easily recognizable from the back due to her long braid. I walked down the isle and said excuse me to my dad who then moved his legs sideways for me to get through and my sister did the same and then I sat right next to my sister and continued to watch the movie for a while.

Not to long later I felt someone tapping me on the shoulder. Curiously I turned to see who it was and to my shock my sister was standing in the seating area behind me. I then looked to the right and found the lady and man I was sitting with were not actually my sister and my dad but complete strangers. Oh my! My sister recalls me doing a double take.

I excused myself past them again, this time out to the isle and my sister and I walked back up to the foyer holding our mouths shut so we didn’t burst out laughing till we exited.

The rest of my family found this to be a good excuse to actually leave the theater even though I would have loved to continue watching the rather slow movie. I didn’t mind too much though cause what had happened was far to funny. We were also glad to have found something to cheer my moms mood up and lighten the atmosphere.

Years later, about four or five years ago actually, I went to the theater in Kalamazoo, MI with my then boyfriend, Ted. I don’t recall what movie we went to see but I do recall that as we climbed the stairs next to the seats there was only one couple in the whole room. As we passed them I turned and walked straight up to the lady and asked them to please move over. The lady actually started collecting her things so she could move while the guy with her looked at me like I lost my marbles. I didn’t actually want the lady to move so I quickly told her I was joking. Ted was watching and rather curious about what the heck I was doing as well. Once they realized I wasn’t serious they had a good laugh. I think doing it on purpose is much better, but either way it’s all fun!

Octopussy_8 Krull

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Kyle Funnies

3/27/14

After the cable man was done hooking up our stuff he asked if I had any questions. Kyle piped in with, “Do you know how big nuclear explosions…” The man quickly replied he meant questions regarding the cable set up.

The cable guy and I started laughing  while the rest of my kids just stood there like nothing was particularly funny.

 

DSCF9773

 

12/12/13

Kyle wanted to talk to me about people who are deaf and we talked about cochlear inplants and stuff. He asked me some technical stuff I didn’t know and then he told me he knew how it was done.
Kyle- First they put mud in your ear, then a plant and it grows.
Me- Phspt… Noooo
Kyle – (Laughs at his own joke.)

 

12/13/13

I took Kyle to see Dr. Locker today for a wart on his foot. Dr. Locker froze it off for him. Then Kyle asked him about a cold sore he thinks he has in his mouth. Dr. Locker answered that only time could heal that.

Later at home Kyle brought the timer to me and said, “Look, this will heal my cold sore! Dr. Locker said so.”

DSCF1225(Pic taken 12/12/13)

 

 

 

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Under Construction!!!

When ever I upload the video from my YouTube channel it posts one of my other videos. It driving me nuts! So I will give it a break and walk away and try again hopefully tomorrow.

Until then the URL is –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf1S4UUQilg&feature=share&list=UUSP5n88BddF0AkvqknMRrgg&index=5

 

DSCF1089(A pic I took at Dashio Con 2013.)

12/14/2013

A friend posted a link to another article that reminds me of what I was talking about on my vlog. It’s called,

What My Kids Are Learning While Playing Minecraft.

 

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We all have issues with our parents at one time or another or for some all the time. I know I have and have expressed some such issues in some of my past blogs. Sadly, but with a note of thankfulness toward my mom, there have been many times that she was the only person it seemed to have read my blog. Of course there may be others but she was the only one to comment. Especially when I first started blogging.

I didn’t walk around ruminating about the disagreeable things my parents have done but it seemed after reading my blogs my mother seemed to think that was the case. I found this somewhat frustrating because I didn’t write them to upset her, actually I didn’t write them for her at all. I wrote them to reach out to others who have gone through similar things as me and for them to find help and comfort in not being alone. But, what one intends and what actually happens can be two very different things.

Occasional I have written about things my parents did that I felt were quite good and honorable but of course, the good doesn’t get as much attention as the bad. Still, I have yet another good thing I want to express, thus the reason for this particular blog this fine evening.

Maybe this memory was sparked because I was watching Breaking The Faith, a series on TLC. It’s about people escaping the fundamentalist Later Day Saints group in Arizona and Utah. I remember watching shows like Dr. Phil talk about the exposure and arrest of their Prophet, Warren Jeffs and interviewing former members several years ago.

I myself, got out a Christian cult about five years ago. At first my mind was pretty messed up, well, basically it was like a black hole, it didn’t feel good. I lived in Honolulu at that time and not to long later moved to Kalamazoo, Mi with my four kids. There I started rebuilding myself. Of course guilt was a big contender. It was so painful to think of how I let my kids be treated and I would beat myself up over it. I would remember I didn’t really have a choice but then I would argue back that I was an adult and had to have a choice. Watching the interviews of these people coming out of the flds cult and hearing them express exactly what I was beating myself up over really helped. The person helping them would explain how brain washing works and that it does indeed work and it would all add up for me. Still the mental anguish doesn’t just suddenly go away. It takes time, but real healing usually does take time

The series I was watching tonight takes place in the now after math of the flds raid and Warren Jeffs imprisonment. It makes sense to me that he is able to still control his compound from prison and that the folks there still live in fear and utter obedience to him and their elders. It makes sense because I’ve not only witnessed fear and brain washing first hand but also the different kinds of manipulation. I know folks still in the cult I was in who do not believe me when I tell them the truth about what really took place and how we along with others were treated. I hear them defend the leaders and go on about how much the Lord has changed them and all the good they do. But it’s not anything new. I remember saying the very same words in the leaders defense when I was still a part of it. I didn’t want anyone to think badly of them back then, even when things didn’t quite add up, and that was often, I did my best to white wash it. I didn’t even believe in doing such things, but it was automatic, I was well trained. As far as the flds leader still controlling “his people”, another reason I understand how easy that is is because when I moved to Hawaii with my then military husband I had to call in on the phone to hear the leader preach everyday on a conference call. We were all encouraged to invite people to listen in so they too could be saved, or set free and so on. Although the pastors wife was very upset about me attending the local AofG in Honolulu the leader wasn’t actually to concerned. I would invite some of the ladies I met at church to listen in on the calls but thankfully they were never able to connect. Even back then I hoped after each conference call that my new friends hadn’t called in to listen because the service was usually terrible. Elder Turner, the leader, would often spend the whole time chewing someone out. I didn’t see how that was going to help anyone.

breaking-the-faith-premieres-668x375

Even though I didn’t leave the church for a while still, I started slowly gaining freedom. I just couldn’t stand wearing long skirts everyday in such a warm climate and went back to wearing shorts. Something I hadn’t done in years. One of the ladies who used to be in the congregation wore long shorts when she mowed the lawn and Elder Turner would preach about how stubborn and worldly she was and how she wanted mens attention. Looking back that was so stretched. She was pretty stubborn but she was also very practical and did what was logical and in that case she felt it was dumb to wear a long skirt while mowing the lawn. So really, me wearing something other then long skirts was a big deal for me back then. Of course it was just the tip of the ice berg, but it’s often these type of little things that get us ready for the dam to break.

554536_397051266989214_1549591905_n(This is a picture of me on the far left with the leader and his wife and preacher friend and another member. A few years later I would get in big trouble with the leader for getting my hair cut  this short again and preached about for a while as an example of wanting to be worldly. As you can see this was taken at the HDC in California. Later most of us moved to Camden, Ar because the “Lord” told Elder Turner we were all to do that. Those who didn’t were used as examples when ever something bad happened to them it was explained that it was punishment because they didn’t move when God said to.)

Watching the show about people escaping the flds and the Amish my stomach almost turns when I see how they dress. It just brings back bad memories. It’s one thing when you have a choice but their clothes represent bondage to me because I know how it is from an inside look. Back then I knew what to say to people who questioned how I dressed, I knew how to defend what inside of me I really hated.

breaking amish

Clothes are just an obvious outward look at what else is going on in cults like these. Many people think of the sexual abuse that goes on and the flds group was guilty and convicted. The Amish have their own issues that differ from family to family so it’s not something you can point at finger at the whole group. But they both are guilty of shunning and condemning people to hell because they didn’t obey or believe in certain rules. The cult I was in didn’t abuse people sexually the way you hear about from other cults. For that I am thankful. They did however make sex look more like a sin of the flesh than anything and it was taught that when one becomes truly holy they no longer desired sex. Now that’s a set up for guilt. I remember my then husband trying to achieve holiness and informing me he no longer desired sex. It was depressing! He had already informed me that fat people who wear sexy outfits look disgusting. Yes, he did consider me fat. My libido has always been on the high side so hearing him say he no longer wanted any was horrible, I wanted to be holy too but I wasn’t buying into that. My point is, we had sexual abuse in the reverse or something on that order. There is very little balance with anything when it comes to cults.

amish out of order

Getting back to what I appreciated my mom for;

After watching Breaking The Faith on DVR this evening I recalled again watching Sister Turner (the leaders wife of the cult I had been in) beat two children in front of me. Though they were not my kids it wasn’t like me to not stop someone who was hurting a child. She was doing it in a training sort of way. Showing me how one should enjoy disciplining children because it’s good for them and of course the scripture about “spare the rod spoil the child” always comes in to play. I remember her face as she whaled on their back sides over and over none stop for quite a few minutes, she was smiling like she was getting a rush off of it. At that time I didn’t know the face of someone getting a high off something, now, I do believe that is exactly what was happening. I wasn’t comfortable with what she was doing, but I was very intimidated by her and I was a gutless wonder.

Even though she never beat my kids like she beat those kids, she did take a turn at giving them a whoopin. Well, at least my oldest, (the one the leader deemed demon possessed) got some whoopens from her. And this is where the mom praise comes in. My mom had a royal fit and went to Elder Turner and gave him an ear full. And believe me, when my mom gives someone an ear full, well, they never forget it. Elder Turner told his wife to back off my daughter. I can’t remember exactly how it was said but it had something negative about my mom and me but that she was to step back for the time being.

My oldest daughter is the only one of my kids that really remembers life in Camden, Arkansas under the Turners rule. My other daughter remembers some but not much. My boys were too little to remember anything there. My oldest daughter remembers things like having little to no freedom to play and having to sit for hours silent in church and in the house while Elder Turner preached. That other lady I mentioned earlier who wore shorts while mowing the lawn eventually helped the kids out by insisting that sitting for hours was not good for children and Elder Turner started letting the kids play in the kitchen where the parent could still hear as long as they were quiet. Sometimes he would crack back down but it got a little better just before I moved to Hawaii. My daughter also remembers the strictness and she did get her share of whoopins, though they were not beatings, they were still too many and too often. But other forms of discipline were frowned upon unless they accompanied whoopins. Still I was considered too easy on my kids. Of course almost everything I did was not good enough to the leaders and many of the members anyway.

My whole point here is that I wanted to appreciate my mom for standing up to the Turners and stopping them from physically abusing my daughter because the way things went back them, well, they always escalated. And yes, I did mention this to my daughter this evening as well. I want to make sure she appreciates these gifts in life.

As far as that show goes, I want to help when I watch things like Breaking The Faith, Amish Out Of Order and Breaking Amish and those who come out as breaking Scientology as well and other cults and so on. I have in the past reached out to people like them from time to time but have never received a reply back. After watching the one I saw tonight I have half a mind to move there and be a safe house. It’s not something I can actually do at this time but I wish I could, I wish I could help them. Especially since I can relate to what they are going through and I’ve learned first hand that there is life after one leaves a cult. For now I’ll just continue to blog and volg and who knows what doors will open.

So here’s my official thank you to my mom for standing up for my daughter when I should have.

Thanks Mom!

300_20605703651_1657_n(My mom and step dad Fred)

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